Showcasing Opportunities for Women in Physics

Current student Grace Richards reflects on her attendance at the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) UK in March 2017.

Hosted by the Oxford Women in Physics Society, this Conference for undergraduate women focused on their development as scientists and showcased opportunities for their education and professional futures.  The conference included a series of workshops, panels, tours and presentations which enabled participants to meet, network and be inspired by successful women in physics.

Speakers included Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Professor Sheila Rowan and Professor Heidy Mader.

Grace, who is currently in her third year of her MPhys Physics degree, reflected:

What stood out was the determination of these women to succeed in their careers.  The main lessons that I took away from this was to look for people to help and support you through your physics career, and not to lose confidence in your own abilities as a scientist.

Included in the conference were tours of facilities at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

I also took a tour of RAL Space whilst visiting the Harwell campus. It was interesting to see opportunities in industry which I’d never considered.

The School of Physics and Astronomy covered the cost for Grace to travel to Oxford to attend the Conference.

Having the opportunity to ask high profile scientists about their research and for advice in succeeding in the future, whether that be in industry, science communication, teaching or research, was a valuable experience. I would highly recommend this conference to any female physics undergraduates who wish to meet other like-minded scientists.